Chocolate Hazelnut Cupcakes

These cupcakes are for a colleague’s birthday, a unqiue cupcake/souffle recipe that didn’t require the work or messy transport issues of icing.

Servings: 24

8 eggs, room temperature, separated
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature

1 cup (4 oz.) whole hazelnuts
1 cup super fine sugar
7 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, such as Scharffen Berger
4 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp. Confectioners’ sugar

Roast hazelnuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees-F. Place nuts on a large rimmed baking sheet. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes or until skins start to split. Rub nuts in a clean dish towel to rub off skins. Chop nuts finely and set aside.

Melt chocolate and butter
Turn oven temperature down 325 degrees-F. In a double-boiler, melt chocolate and butter, stir with a whisk until combined. Set aside to cool slightly.

Make chocolate base
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat egg yolks and sugar until creamy and light yellow. Add chocolate/butter mixture and stir until combined. Add flour and chopped nuts and mix until combined.

Beat egg whites and make batter
In a separate bowl, beat eggs whites until soft peaks form. Gently fold egg whites into the chocolate batter. Line muffin tin with cupcake liners. Spoon batter into the cupcake liners, using all of the batter. Each liner will be very full.

Bake cupcakes for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for five minutes. Transfer cupcakes to a cooling rack and let cool completely.

Dust cupcakes with Confectioners’ sugar. Store in the refrigerator.

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